LOMO 135BC is a 35mm camera with spring-motor film advance. It was made
by LOMO in Ukraine, wich was part of the USSR then. It was built from
1974 to 1982. There was a successor, the 135M, produced from 1981 to 1985
which is the same camera with minor differences. The cameras resemble
at first view to the Smena Symbol, wich has a similar lens barrel and
weather symbols, but they are more heavily built with metal top- and
bottom-plates and top-plate release.
Technically the camera is closer to the Rollei 35, designed by Heinz Waaske and built by Rollei from 1971 to 1980.
Its main features are:
40mm F2.8 Industar 73 lens, min. focus 1m Aperture 2.8-22, Speed B, 1/15.-1/250 Size 105 x 88 x 58 mm, Weight 495 gr. (!) 16-250 ISO, hot shoe, cable release socket, distance indication in the viewer
Front, aperture setting ring around a good lens. Big and clear viewfinder.
from above. Film advance knob, shutter button with cable release
socket, film counter. On the wind knob there is an exposure calculator.
On the lens barrel: distance setting and weather symbols.
The calculator works as follows: Set the ISO and read the aperture
according to the 4 situations: bright sun as on snow, sunny and open scene as on the beach,
slightly shady or deep shade. Tranfer the number to the aperture
setting ring. Then look at the light and set speed according to the
weather symbols between sunny and very cloudy. It works astonishingly
well if you forgot your meter. Otherwise set speed and aperure as usual.
from below. Similar to a Rollei 35 you have: Hot shoe, rewind release
(turn to disengage), back opening release with tripod socket, rewind
handle. On the lens barrel: speed setting.
The camera has a big and clear viewer that indicates the distance setting via symbols.
Camera and pouch.
Film compartment open.
Pressure plate open. Same design as the Rollei 35.
Film pressure plate open and film plane.
The Lomo 135BC is a manual camera with all basic settings and
functions, well designed and easy to handle.
The lens gives sharp and contrasty pictures. The spring motor can give
up to 8 pictures in a series. It lacks slow speeds, but has a B setting
for night photos. It has no meter, but the exposure hints help in case
of. A rangefinder would have been marvellous, the distance setting
visible in the viewfinder is a good help at least.